Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai

Bad news in Mumbai.....  I've been following what's been happening over there pretty much since it was first reported on Wednesday. So far the death toll stands at 155 with 300 reported wounded or injured, according to the latest set of CNN updates.

There is a considerable amount of discussion as to whether or not al-Qaeda masterminded this attack. Truthfully, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they were behind the attacks. After all, it's not like there hasn't been any sort of warning that something like this wouldn't happen, although I have to suspect that those in the worldwide intelligence community who look for things like this were looking in the wrong places. And if they - al-Qaeda - were behind the attacks, then it shows how good they are at staying a step ahead of those who look for them.

That's a pattern - terrorist groups being able to stay ahead of law enforcement and the intelligence community. Not a good thing, in my view.

One of the most notable things that has happened throughout all of this is the amount of real-time reporting on Twitter and Flickr. I'm not sure that as much detail of what has been going on would be available otherwise, and all of the people who were reporting deserve great credit for their efforts. I think we also need to realize that these people were making all of this information available at considerable personal risk. It's my feeling that if not for them, we wouldn't know as much about what happened as we do now.

2 comments:

TOTWTYTR said...

Mumbai is important not only because a number of presumably innocent people were killed. It's important because it is an important changed in the tactics used by the terrorists.

This was well planned, well coordinated, and well practiced. It's likely that the terrorists had some help from a nation like, oh, say Pakistan. Or at least organized elements within the government of Pakistan.

It's also interesting to note that the terrorists used tactics similar to any number of western nation's special forces. The suspicion in at least one article is that former British or some other country's special operations personnel took part in the planning and training for this.

Occasionally, the terrorists do outguess the good guys, but most of the time they don't. Which is good for us.

Walt Trachim said...

As I've followed this situation I've heard reporting about the Special Operations signature to the attacks. Some of the other reporting has actually taken al-Qaeda at least partially off of the hook because of the tactical shift.

If not former Brits, then who, I wonder? If they were former Brits, then why?

I will agree that pound for pound the good guys do definitely give better than they get; good example is the battle for Tora Bora. We did take considerable casualties, but the bad guys didn't win the day.